Ghosts I-IV - Nine Inch Nails

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Even if every one of these tracks stands as a formal experiment unto itself, after an hour or two these half-formed ideas begin to bleed indistinctly into each other, evolving into puddles of vaguely ominous aural mush.
  2. 80
    A stunning collection of 36 instrumental tracks that is one of the most varied and ambitious releases of Reznor's career. [May 2008, p.104]
  3. Ghosts I-IV is a clear step forward while still managing to stay true to what NIN traditionally ought to sound like and represent.
  4. Reznor's own hyperdetailed language defines the set: heaving synthesizers, doleful piano, alien-insect noises.
  5. At 36 tracks, Ghosts is as impressively ambitious as it is uneven and stunted.
  6. This album is surely a success, its just there is a lot of things that a great album like 'My Life in the Bush of The Ghosts' (which Ghosts sincerely seems indebted to) have that are missing here.
  7. It's meant to be taken as surface, perhaps skimmed for samples, but generally to be used as mildly unsettling mood music--a specialty of Reznor's, to be sure, but he's better and scarier when his ideas are more finely honed than they are here.
  8. Finer minds than mine may find these pieces worthy of continuous attention. I say they're background music, there waiting when your mind drifts speakerward, just distracting enough to change up your mood in a useful way.
  9. It's basically a minimalist record that coasts on one's predilection for NINoise.
  10. He shows here that he is much more than the swagger and smut of some of his previous releases. He has made it clear to the world that he has real vision and dexterity.
  11. 80
    Without Reznor's shouting, they're more hypnotic, even, at times, soothing. [June 2008, p.98]
  12. 50
    The album could easily have come from Boards of Canada or any number of downcast groups--if it were shorter. [May 2008, p.78]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. Feb 24, 2014
    Just awesome sauce and not 150 characters long oh my r r r Full Review »
  2. Apr 26, 2011
    People who can't appreciate ambient music... Well, they can't appreciate ambient music. This is a terrific album, with relatively no flaws. No complaints. None. Full Review »